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Vandenberg sinking

Discussion in 'Artificial Reefs' started by diver222, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Leroybrown

    Leroybrown Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: New York
    13
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    Not sure where this goes but this should bring this tale to a end. Norfolk shipyard out $1.1 million after failed reef case


    By Tim McGlone
    The Virginian-Pilot
    © July 7, 2011
    NORFOLK
     
    Colonna's Shipyard is out more than $1 million after a federal judge ruled
    that the company isn't entitled to payment from Key West for work done on a
    ship sunk to make an artificial reef off the Florida barrier island city.
     
    Colonna's had received about $1 million for work on the Gen. Hoyt S.
    Vandenberg but was denied an additional $1.1 million it says it was owed.
     
    The 527-foot Vandenberg, a one-time James River Reserve Fleet - or "ghost
    fleet" - ship, was purchased by Key West several years ago. The city hired a
    contractor, Artificial Reefs of the Keys, or ARK, to get the ship ready for
    sinking.
     
    ARK subsequently hired a subcontractor, Reefmakers, which in turn hired
    Colonna's to rid the ship of oil, asbestos and other toxic wastes so the
    vessel could be sunk as a tourist attraction seven miles off the Key West
    coast.
     
    Colonna's completed the work on the Vandenberg, but Reefmakers failed to
    complete payments to the Norfolk shipyard. Colonna's sued the company in
    2008, forcing a sale of the ship on the courthouse steps. Colonna's said it
    was owed $1.7 million.
     
    A Florida bank won the bidding at $1.3 million and turned over the ship to
    Key West. The Vandenberg has since been sunk as an attraction for divers and
    anglers.
     
    But Colonna's received only about $600,000 after other Reefmakers creditors
    were paid. Colonna's also got about $300,000 from the U.S. Marshals Service
    for keeping the vessel in storage and maintaining it during the initial
    federal action.
     
    The shipyard then sued Key West for the remaining $1.1 million, claiming the
    city was reaping the benefits of the newly sunk reef. The company also
    relied on statements made by a Key West commissioner who made assurances
    that the shipyard would be paid.
     
    The total cost of the project was around $8.6 million. Despite additional
    millions from Florida to complete the project, Colonna's still wasn't paid.
     
    U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis, in a ruling made public Tuesday, said he
    felt for the company but legally could not rule in its favor, in part
    because the shipyard had already been paid after the auction of the vessel.
     
    "The court is not without sympathy for the position in which Colonna's finds
    itself," he wrote.
     
    He said the company and Key West made good-faith efforts to settle the
    matter.
     
    "However, such good-faith efforts do not always result in entitlement to a
    legal recovery," Davis said. "Such is the case here. There is no question
    that Colonna's was treated shabbily in this deal."
     
    Tim McGlone, (757) 446-2343, tim.mcglone@pilotonline.com
     

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